Time by Ping is now Laurel. Let’s talk about why.
Our mission is—and always will be—to return time. Knowledge workers (people who make money with their minds) spend an average of 9 hours a day working but only spend 3 hours adding value. We started Time by Ping to empower these +1B knowledge workers to produce twice as much value in half the time.
Time by Ping reminded us at every turn that we are attempting something that has not been attempted before. And because there is no blueprint, we will stumble over and over again. While most would say we’re building the engine while flying the plane, I prefer to think of it as drawing a map of the oceans while sailing the seas.
The Time by Ping identity was attached to legal timekeeping (today, across three continents, our system processes over half a billion dollars in value). Laurel, however, is not interested in a verticalized approach — its ambition is to create and own the category of time.
So with that, we are officially launching the culmination of our company’s work over the last year:
- Our new name and brand
- Our new product
- Our brand idea – what we stand for
We began our name exploration by coming up with our brand idea.
We landed on the value of time well spent.
We intentionally steered away from timekeeping. Instead, we stayed true to our vision of eventually killing the workflow of timekeeping altogether, and focused on making humans aware of how they are spending time.
- Our primary audience – who we stand for
This human-first focus is by design. We believe being a mission-first organization is a prerequisite to achieving the mission itself. Worker monitoring systems will face too much friction to scale as those being tracked become antagonists to the software.
Our primary audience is the user, not the buyer.
- Defining our brand personality
Next, we settled on personality traits that we wanted the brand to evoke. We landed on:
- Listing and shortlisting names
Despite the direction, it turned out naming is hard. We looked at a lot of names.
But we knew we wanted a name that wasn’t directly associated with time. The best company names are generated when the company defines the meaning, not the other way around.
And so ultimately, we looked at concepts that represented us as people. After all, the brand is ultimately a reflection of all us within the company. Our team members who chose to invest their time, our customers who chose to invest their trust, our investors who chose to invest their dollars. We needed a brand that lets us be the authors of time in a way that is authentic to who we are at our core.
The first concept that resonated is positioning time as finite. It has a beginning and an end. We’re all looking for ways to extend life and yet we’re seemingly okay exchanging seven years of our lives for nothing. While some in Silicon Valley obsess over immortality, we want to focus on making the most of our limited time here. It is the most important lesson I took from losing mom while building the company.
The second concept that resonated is first focusing on how the world is spending its time, before prescribing how it should be spent As Peter Drucker is famous for saying: You can't manage what you can't measure. It is why we chose to start our time exploration with time awareness.
The companies that matter are the ones that convinced people that they needed a product that solves a problem that they didn’t know existed. We agonize over how we spend our every dollar. Yet even though people rank time as their most valuable asset, we have no idea how we are spending it. We are given tools, advisors, and software that help us understand how to manage our money, but nothing exists to help us understand how to manage our time. At Laurel, we strive to educate the world that we are not aware of where we are spending the one thing that matters.
Meet our new name
With that as our backdrop, I am excited to introduce you to our new name: Laurel.
Why did we choose Laurel?
Laurel is tight, concise, and two syllables. Laurel’s etymology goes back to Grecian times, when a Laurel wreath was given to winners in poetry and sports in Ancient Greece. The Laurel tree is a symbol of victory and success.
We also wanted a name that began and ended with the same letter to signify the beginning and end of time. The l’s also let us play with the imagery of a curtain opening to our time (which has been there in plain sight waiting for a product to unveil it). We likewise wanted to choose a name that felt relevant in any time period and evokes the feeling of victory and achievement. When you spend your time intentionally, you feel empowered and in control.
Finally, we loved that we could play with the phrase rest on your laurels. Our product allows timekeeping professionals to rest on us for the aspect of their job they dislike the most.
Meet our new visual identity
Our new symbol is an hourglass turned on its side.
We believe this speaks to our intention around time and how we can turn the awareness of time, and its finiteness, on its head.
The infinity also sign pays homage to the Time by Ping logo — making sure we pay respect to the journey that got us here.
Finally, it looks like a bowtie which, when displayed on our new stark black-and-white color scheme, gives off the impression of modern professionalism.
And, of course, branding in the abstract is just that. You can see how the decisions we made humanize the application while allowing users to quickly and easily take inventory of their time.
Meet our new product
Instead of blindly replicating Time by Ping, we chose to leverage our learnings over the past 6 years and rebuild the product from the ground up. Today, we are launching:
- features that enable every timekeeper at a firm to take advantage of Laurel (delegate support, reference mode, and revamped timers)
- new data infrastructure that has improved our AI accuracy by 4x
- a Web interface that can be iterated on and shipped to users within hours
- a rebuilt backend that will result in 10x reliability and 100x performance
- new Windows and Mac trackers, along with Zoom, enabling us to work with any OS and track any program
- security infrastructure that is SOC-compliant
- a new integration platform that will reduce our customer implementation time from 4 weeks → 1 week
If there is a single quote we want to sum up the brand, it’s one by 18th-century French writer François-René de Chateaubriand:
A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.
Here’s to working and playing. Welcome to Laurel.